You have to admit, it was a bit out of character for him when he called the U.S. Olympic athletes to give them his best wishes and those of the American people. Never mind that First Lady Michelle Obama is in London this week. He just isn’t known for celebrating American excellence. He also could have told the athletes that they don’t deserve credit for their achievements, the way he told small business owners a week or two earlier with his “You didn’t do that” speech. Instead, this time he will praise them because they have just moved up to a higher tax bracket!
While we’re on the subject of the Olympics, I would also like to share a bit of Olympic history I read last week. For the Olympic Games of 1912, held in Stockholm, one of the American athletes competing was George S. Patton. The 27-year-old Patton entered the Pentathlon, a combination of fencing, shooting, horseback riding, swimming and running – five appropriate macho sports for a future general. Patton did well enough overall to come in fifth place, but the final score was controversial. The reason why he did not win a medal was because the judges ruled that for the shooting, Patton completely missed the target on his final handgun shot. Patton, however, argued that he did not leave a mark on the target because his bullet went into the same hole left by the previous shot.
Do you remember the scene from Robin Hood where he entered an archery contest, another archer hit the bullseye in the target, and then Robin Hood hit the exact same spot, splitting the first arrow? Patton may have done the same thing with a pistol, one of the most amazing acts of marksmanship in history. If he did, and got credit for it, he would have been remembered as a sports hero, as well as a war hero.